By Phil Baker, Brimscombe boss

AFTER eight years of leading this fabulous football club I have decided to step down.

I have loved every moment of leading the team and I leave with a heavy heart.

Brimscombe FC are a massive part of my life, but for where I am with my life away from football, this is the right decision at this time.

This is by no means retirement as I intend to continue with my coaching education.

I will help the new man settle in at Brimscombe and I certainly wouldn’t rule out a return to senior football in the future.

I will always remember how my managerial career started back in the Northern Senior League. We were in the bottom half of the table when I took it on in early November 2006 and duly lost my first three fixtures against Lydbrook, Bourton Rovers and Kingswood.

It wasn’t until April of 2007 and a 2-0 win at Shortwood Reserves, with Jamie Underwood smashing in a great free- kick, that we stayed in the league that year.

At the start of the 2007/08 season the building blocks began to fall into place. New players arrived and we finished seventh and then the upward-curve took-off in 2008/09 when we gained promotion from the Senior League to the Gloucestershire County League.

From the first year of the County League to this day- has been just one unbelievable experience.

There has been so many memorable games. We've played games to win to gain promotion, games to win leagues and games to win cup silverware.

I wouldn’t have swapped the experience for anything, people do say that there is no substitute to playing and I agree with that, but managing this team has given me so many high points that I have enjoyed it as much as my playing days.

To finish with two trophies in the bag, a mid- table finish in our first season at Hellenic Premier level and a cup semi-final still ahead is a great way to go out, but I firmly believe that this year success isn’t the achievement the achievement has been getting the club here through the leagues from where it was.

With all the off field ground improvements that are required and support needed if it wasn’t for such a great chairman, that happens to be my dad, active committee and the support given by Longy, Wandy, Pete, Trigg and Probes, then we would have not achieved anywhere near what we have.

I can’t go without mentioning the players, any team can only ever be as strong as the lads on the pitch and we have been blessed with some wonderful players.

Three players in Adam Thomas, Matt Blythe and Gary Probert have been with me through all the leagues and deserve special praise.

I really can’t think of too many players that have given me a headache and I have made some great friends during the job.